An eco-city reduces its ecological footprint to fit within the boundaries of one planet. In an eco-city, people and organisations adapt to a changing climate and gladly act to build a sustainable future.
Future Melbourne 2008
Environmental sustainability is a key issue for the Melburnians who seek An eco-city. Climate change was identified as a real and serious threat to city life. Some saw developing tough targets on reducing emissions as a way to stimulate necessary action. Suggestions were made on how to achieve desired environmental outcomes through the reduction of transport and non-transport energy use, as well as incentives and disincentives for good and poor performance. A range of mitigations to reduce the impacts of heat in the city were also identified. Many initiatives were based on using the natural environment to reduce heat impacts, such as natural shading and cooling the outsides of buildings. Education and research were also identified as an important part of the climate adaption process.
Reduction of energy use reduction is important for many who discussed the environment, identifying solar energy as a desirable option in achieving this aim. There was also a large amount of practical discussion on ways to reuse and recycle waste and energy, covering a broad range of areas including organic waste and everyday items such as bottled water and plastic shopping bags.
A very high number of people made statements regarding eco-living in the dense urban centre of Melbourne. Feedback covered two main themes, inner city biodiversity and inner city food growing. People overwhelmingly wanted more planting in the city, this included in places visible from streets, in designated areas, and in innovative places like rooftops and walls of building. More vegetation was seen as beneficial to people mainly for health and wellbeing reasons. Plants that were edible or useful to attract birds or animals to the city were also desired.
More efficient capture and use of water to improve people’s lives and the environment was also sought after. There was significant discussion regarding stormwater management, mainly focused on capturing, keeping and using water close to its sources. Comments also explained how water conservation efforts can be improved. Caring for and celebrating the Yarra to improve its quality and human experience of it was also a keenly discussed topic.